Ordinary People (Hardback)
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Ordinary People (Hardback)

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£14.99
Hardback 336 Pages / Published: 05/04/2018
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'Diana Evans is a lyrical and glorious writer; a precise poet of the human heart' Naomi Alderman `You can take a leap, do something off the wall, something reckless. It's your last chance, and most people miss it.' South London, 2008. Two couples find themselves at a moment of reckoning, on the brink of acceptance or revolution. Melissa has a new baby and doesn't want to let it change her but, in the crooked walls of a narrow Victorian terrace, she begins to disappear. Michael, growing daily more accustomed to his commute, still loves Melissa but can't quite get close enough to her to stay faithful. Meanwhile out in the suburbs, Stephanie is happy with Damian and their three children, but the death of Damian's father has thrown him into crisis - or is it something, or someone, else? Are they all just in the wrong place? Are any of them prepared to take the leap? Set against the backdrop of Barack Obama's historic election victory, Ordinary People is an intimate, immersive study of identity and parenthood, sex and grief, friendship and aging, and the fragile architecture of love. With its distinctive prose and irresistible soundtrack, it is the story of our lives, and those moments that threaten to unravel us.

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9781784742157
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 555 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 32 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Diana Evans is a lyrical and glorious writer; a precise poet of the human heart" -- Naomi Alderman, author of The Power
"Thoughtful and intelligently observed... Evans's delicate prose weaves issues of racial identity and politics into the narrative so that they never feel heavy-handed...a deftly observed, elegiac portrayal of modern marriage, and the private - often painful - quest for identity and fulfilment in all its various guises" * Observer *
"Evans gives us romance going cold with just as pitiless a precision as Flaubert in Madame Bovary... Evans's prose is magnificent: it's as if she measured each sentence, trimmed the excess weight, then fitted it into place" * Daily Telegraph *
"One of the very many things that makes this book exceptional is the even-handed sympathy and unflinching fidelity with which Evans charts the changing weather both of her protagonists' emotions and family life. She excels at dialogue and she's also a soulful lyrical chronicler of London in all its moods and guises" * Daily Mail *
"It could easily be reimagined for the screen, though the film would not capture the sheer energy and effervescence of Evans's funny, sad, magnificent prose" * Guardian *
"a gorgeous, wild, layered novel" * Stella Duffy *
"There is something radical in how Evans depicts the lives of young, black people, faithfully, fully and quietly" * Financial Times *
"Ordinary People is a very funny book...a reminder of the power that only the novel has: to show you a familiar world from someone else's perspective" * Evening Standard *
"Sparkling... Rich, complex and quietly extreme, Ordinary People is a forensic study of human relationships, one that finds, like the best novels, universality in the specific. It is also a supreme London novel... In short, it's a joy from start to finish" * Literary Review *
"Does literary fiction have a blind spot when it comes to race? When a novel like Diana Evans's Ordinary People feels unusual, you have to wonder... This is a wonderful novel - generous, clear-sighted and rich with the old-fashioned pleasure of characters you're left impatient to revisit" * Metro *
"That rarest thing: a literary novel about real, recognizable human beings-a poignant portrait of middle life in London's middle class. Evans has given us four thirtysomething characters so perfectly drawn that they seem to come from a brilliant Netflix dramedy, but has rendered them with a classical prose so confident that it seems to come from a 19th century novel. Beach reading for the thinking beachgoer: as intelligent and insightful as it is hilariously entertaining." -- Taiye Selasi, author of Ghana Must Go
"Ordinary People is that rarest of books - a portrait that lays bare the normality of black family life in suburban London, while revealing its deepest psyche, its tragedies, its hopes and its magic. The words are infused with a beauty that leaves the reader spellbound and yet astounded by the familiarity of it all. I had not realised how much I longed for characters like these until I found them, brought alive here with such compassion. A wondrous book." -- Afua Hirsch, author of Brit(ish)
"Ordinary People sings with every word. The writing is pitch perfect, the underlying politics of race and gender is never heavy handed, and the characterisation of south London is enviable. I know these streets and they beat to the music that runs through this book...a lyrical and beautiful story. It's a triumph" -- Christie Watson, author of The Language of Kindness
"Diana Evans has an alluring sense of time, place and identity as she writes about the complicated turning points of life, delivering descriptions that are simultaneously subtle and vivid, stories both intimate and collective. Here are pages that deserve to be lingered over, savoured, and re-read." -- Margaret Busby
"Intensely relatable" * Independent *
"Diana Evans writes exquisitely beautifully about the interior landscapes of human relationships set against the urban and suburban cityscapes of London. Her characters are portrayed with depth, perceptiveness and complexity, and through the descriptions of their emotional journeys, we discover a language to understand ourselves" -- Bernardine Evaristo
"Diana Evans has masterfully crafted a beautiful, nuanced story about love, loss, and redemption. With compelling prose and an uncanny insight into the questions life throw at us as human beings, she has established herself as a voice to behold." -- Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of Here Comes the Sun
"Evans' prose has a musical quality" -- Eithne Farry * Mail on Sunday *
"A wonderfully warm and intelligent novel" -- Sarra Manning * Red *
"13 new books to put a spring in your step', mention: `Ordinary London lives are captured with lyricism and integrity... A quiet, vividly-drawn novel about the moments of angst and joy that make up everyday life." -- Lucy Brooks * CultureWhisper *

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Reviews

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“Urban Odyssey”

NetGalley

Member Review

Ordinary People
by Diana Evans
Pub Date: 05 Apr 2018
Review by

Sam W, Reviewer
Last updated on 23 Feb 2018
I Recommend This Book

Yes
There is some lovely descriptive writing in this... More

Hardback edition
26th April 2018
Helpful? Upvote 1
miss.mesmerized

“Ordinary People”

Melissa was always happy on her own, she never needed a man to feel complete. Maybe this was due to her father who was everything but a good husband and when her mother had finally left him, things got a lot better.... More

Hardback edition
6th April 2018
Helpful? Upvote 1

“Beautifully written, shame about the connotations”

This is a beautiful book and Evans' prose is stunning, almost poetic in places. Comparisons with Zadie Smith are inevitable. However, this novel did leave a bad taste in my mouth at places. By Ordinary People,... More

Hardback edition
24th July 2018
Helpful? Upvote 0

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